1 What is a Safer Street Healthier Neighbourhood (SSHN)?

A Safer Streets Healthier Neighbourhoods (SSHN) is a project in Leicester to discourage rat running and unnecessary journeys made by car. Traffic levels in local neighbourhoods have increased in recent years. Networked satellite navigation systems can calculate the quickest route in real-time and can send drivers along unsuitable streets.

In a Safer Streets Healthier Neighbourhoods (SSHN), motor vehicles are discouraged by road closures and one-way streets, while pedestrians and cyclists are unaffected.

The closures are created by planters which can be moved or removed as we learn how it affects traffic movements.

The main principle is that every resident can drive onto their street, get deliveries and receive visitors. However, it will be harder or impossible to drive straight through the neighbourhood from one main road to the next.

2. Why are we introducing an SSHN in your area?

Over the past decade, there has been a large rise in traffic volumes on residential streets in this area. The traffic levels, percentage of through traffic and the speed of the traffic has been measured in your area over the last couple of years. In some of the streets monitored, up to 60% of the traffic recorded is ‘through traffic’ or ‘rat running’ and an even greater percentage is school-run traffic.

At times buses and emergency vehicles struggle through the traffic. At other times the speed of traffic is inappropriately high for residential areas. Many residents have expressed concerns to your Ward Councillor, MP or the City Council.

Whilst these measures are designed to make it more awkward to make short journeys by car, less traffic makes it easier to walk and ride a bike. Using the car less for short journeys is one way to help reduce carbon emissions in this global climate crisis.

2 How many Safer Streets Healthier Neighbourhoods (SSHN) will Leicester have?

There are 3 areas provisionally identified for a Safer Streets Healthier Neighbourhoods (SSHN) as they will have the most benefit on the surrounding area. These are Evington, Knighton and Rushey Mead

3 How will residents get to their houses by car?

Every home will still be accessible by car, whether residents themselves or visitors. Emergency services, delivery vehicles, disabled vehicle users and refuse trucks will also be able to access all properties just like it is now.

To stop vehicles passing through the area there will be some road closures put in place. Hence some car journeys will be indirect and may take longer. For many people, this inconvenience is a price worth paying to have a safer and healthier neighbourhood with cleaner air. It also discourages people from making very short unnecessary journeys by car.

The satellite navigation companies will be informed of the closures and one-ways in advance in order that they can redirect the traffic using them.

4 What about emergency vehicles and refuse collections?

We have been talking to the emergency services and refuse collection companies and they are all aware of the locations of the closures and the best way to access each street. This will enable them to reprogram their satellite navigation systems in advance of the changes. Access to all properties by both emergency services and refuge collection services will be retained. It is worth noting that most delays to emergency calls are caused by congestion rather than the road layout. Emergency and refuge vehicles are allowed through the bus gate.

5 When will this happen and how long will it be trialed for?

The first Safer Street- Healthier Neighbourhood will be installed in October 2021 during the half-term week. They will be installed using an experimental traffic regulation order. This means the changes can last for 18 months, during which time residents will have the opportunity to comment, propose changes, and the option of objecting to making the changes permanent. If there is insufficient support for the new layout then the features can be removed at any time within the 18 month period. However, the closures and one-ways will be left in place long enough to allow people to get used to them being there and to monitor their overall effect on traffic.

6 How will shops get deliveries?

There will be no changes to the loading and limited waiting orders close to shops. This should allow most shops to continue with their present arrangements for deliveries. At worst drivers may have to take a different route to the one they are familiar with.

7 What about the main roads that border these areas? Will they get worse?

By making driving less convenient and accessible, it reduces vehicle levels. This leads to an increase in numbers walking and riding bikes, creating a safer and healthier neighbourhood. This is especially true for short trips. Some people will stop making particular journeys, combine multiple trips into one, change destination or time of travel or switch to public transport, walking or riding a bike. This is known as ‘traffic evaporation’ and has been documented in similar situations all over the world. We expect to see traffic build-up in the early weeks of a trial, followed by a steady decline in traffic as drivers adjust back to similar levels as before.

8 How can residents comment on the proposals?

Residents, businesses and parents of school children in the affected areas will be sent a letter detailing the closures and one-ways. They will also be invited to drop-in sessions in the neighbourhood, or online. Please see here for the times and locations.

Schools in the areas have been consulted directly and will be sending out information to their parents. Residents and businesses can also get in touch with the council to make comments or object to making the schemes permanent by emailing saferhealtherstreets@leicester.gov.uk

9 What effect will there be on car parking spaces?

Care will be taken to avoid blocking access to off-street parking areas or driveways to private premises. All parking for disabled people will be retained.

10 How will this impact local businesses?

All businesses in and around the area will be contacted directly to find out their needs before implementing any scheme. By creating a more pleasant urban environment we would hope that footfall will increase and consequently retail businesses trading on the street may find increased trade.

11 How to get around on your bike during times of heavy traffic?

During times of heavier traffic, it is advised that until major roads can receive appropriate upgrades, parallel quiet routes should enable cyclists to complete their journeys.